US 3302838 A
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Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Feb. 7, 1967 J. THALER 3,302,838
APPARATUS FOR PAYING OUT A CABLE FROM A CABLE DRUM Filed March 4, 1965 Fly. 2
I'M 06 7/701 /e/ United States Patent Ofitice 3,3tl2,838 Patented Feb. 7, 1967 9 Claims. or. 225-472 This invention relates to apparatus for handling cables such as subaerranean electrical power cables, and particularly to a movable apparatus for paying out such a cable from a cable drum.
It is common practice manually to pay out heavy electrical cables from cable drums during installation of the cable in a trench or the like. heavy conducting core or a heavy external armature, its great weight can be handled safely only by a relatively large number of workers. Certain types of cables which are provided with plastic insulation must not be stressed in tension, and therefore must be handled by a work force even greater than would normally be needed for reasons of weight alone.
The object of the invention is the provision of portable or movable apparatus capable of handling even heavy cables carefully and suitable for control by a single operator.
An essential feature of the invention is a conveyor equipped with a plurality of gripping means alignedl-y spaced in the direction of conveyor movement for gripping an engaged cable transversely of the direction of cable movement in response to the weight of the cable. The conveyor is mounted on a vehicle which may also carry the drum from which the cable is being payed out.
Other features and many of the attendant advantages of the invention will be readily appreciated as the same becomes better understood by reference to the following detailed description of a preferred embodiment when considered in connection with the accompanying drawing in which:
FIG, 1 shows an apparatus of the invention for paying out a cable from a cable drum, the view being in side elevation; and
FIG. 2 shows the apparatus of FIG. 1 in plan view.
The elongated supporting frame 1 of the vehicle illustrated carries an endless conveyor whose four shafts 2, 3, 4, have axes of rotation transverse of the direction of frame elongation. In the illustrated normal position of the frame 1, the Shafts 2 and 5 are longitudinally spaced on a common level. The shafts 3, 4 are longitudinally interposed between the shafts 2, 5 on a slightly higher level. Each shaft 2, 3, 4, 5 carries two axially spaced sprockets 6, 7 longitudinally aligned with the corresponding sprockets on the other shafts. Two endless chains 8, 9 are respectively trained over the sets of sprocket 6 and 7 in such a manner that the upper strand of each chain has a gently ascending portion 16 between the sprockets on the shafts 5 and 4,, a horizontal portion between the shafts 4 and 3, and a gently descending portion 11 between the sprockets on the shafts 3 and 2.. Uniformly spaced cross bars 12 connectthe two chains 3, 9 and carry respective saddles 13 each of which consists of two bars arranged to define therebetween a V-shaped notch aligned with the notches of the other saddles 13 in the direction of conveyor movement.
Thus, it will be seen that the conveyor of the inven- When the cable has a tion includes the pair of coextensive, aligned endless for movement about a normally horizontal axis.
runs. The plurality of pairs of sprocket wheels 6, 7 are operatively connected with the sprocket chains to support and advance the latter, these sprocket wheels 6 and 7 being situated with the wheels 6 of each pair situated in the same plane as the chain 8 and with the wheels 7 of each pair situated in the same plane as the chain 9, the shafts which extend between and carry the pairs of wheels, namely the shafts 2-5, extending normally with respect to the parallel planes in which the pair of endless conveyor chains 8 and 9 are situated. It will furthermore be noted that the intermediate pairs of sprocket wheels, namely those carried by the shafts 3 and 4, engage only the upper runs of the pair of chain to elevate these upper runs at their intermediate portions which are situated between the end pairs of sprocket wheels to an elevation somewhat higher than the elevation of the chains at the pairs of end sprocket wheels. The conveyor of the invention further includes the transverse bars 12 which are parallel to each other and extend perpendicularly with respect to the planes in which the chains are located in the space between these planes with each bar 12 extending between and connected with a pair of chains. It is to be noted that these bars 12'are relatively widely spaced from each other uniformly along the chains with the distances between. the successive bars 12 being substantially greater along the lengths of the hains than'the' dimensions of the bars 12 along the lengths of the chains. The substantially V-shaped gripping members 13 are respectively fixed to the transverse bars 12 midway between the ends thereof with the apexes of the gripping members directly engaging the bars 12, respectively, these gripping members 13 also being relatively widely spaced from each other and having in the direction of the length of the chains a dimension substantially smaller than the distance between successive gripping members 13, and these gripping member 13 extend upwardly from the bars 12 which at any given instant are situated along the upper runs of the chains so as to provide upwardly directed outer open ends for receiving the cable which is to be payed out. As is particularly apparent from FIG. 2, the legs of each V-shaped gripping member 13 define between themselves an acute angle so that a strong gripping force is provided for the cable which becomes wedged between the legs of the gripping members 1?).- The upper runs of the chains have inlet ends situated'to the right in FIG. 1 for initially receiving the cable which is to he transported and discharge ends, situated at the left in FIG, 1, from which the cable is discharged from the conveyor, the cable of course travelling along the upper runs of the conveyor from the inlet to the discharge ends thereof, and it is to be noted that the rocker assembly 27-29 forms a means for assuring retaining of the cable by the conveyor only in the region of the entrance or inlet end of the upper runs thereof, the cable otherwise being supported exclusively by the gripping elements without being pressed into the latter by any additional structure.
The conveyor is driven by a sprocket 14 on the shaft 2 which is connected with the output shaft of an internal combustion engine 16 by a drive chain 15.
The frame 1 further carries a cable drum 17 whose tubular hub is rotatably mounted on a transverse shaft 18 journaled in the frame 1. The aforementioned drive chain 15 engages a sprocket 20 on the shaft 18 and is also guided over a tensioning device 21, conventional in itself. A coupling pin 19 may be passed through aligned radial bores (not shown) in the hub of the drum 17 and in the shaft 18 to couple the drum to the shaft.
One of the longitudinal top members 22 of the frame 1 carries a column 23 in which a pivot pin 24 is journaled One end of an arm 25 is attached to the pin 24, and the other end of the arm 25 is fixedly fastened to one end of a transverse shaft 26 which pivotally carries a rocker 29. Two wheels 27, 28 are mounted on the two arms of the rocker 29 for rotation in the common central plane of the saddles 13, and for joint pivoting movement about the axis of the shaft 26.
An angle 30 fixedly attached to the free end of the shaft 26 has one downwardly directed leg which carries several studs 34. A tension spring 31 is interposed between a selected stud 34 and the frame 1 for pulling the wheels 27, 28 into the path of the conveyor. An operating arm 32 connected to the other, approximately horizontal arm of the angle 30 permits the wheels to be lifted from their illustrated operative position against the restraint of the spring 31.
Rectracable caster wheels 35, 36 are secured in the illustrated position shown by spring-biased locking pins 37, but may be pivoted upward when the pins 37 are withdrawn so that the frame 1 rests directly on the ground. Each pin 37 passes through aligned radial openings in a stationary bearing on the frame 1 and in a short shaft received in the bearing and attached to the caster in a manner not further illustrated when the caster wheels support the load of the frame 1, and are withdrawn from the aligned openings when it is desired to swing the casters upward from their operative position. When the caster wheels are to be lowered, the frame 1 is lifted. A bar 38 at the front end and handle bars 39, 40 at the rear end of the frame 1 are provided for this purpose. The vehicle may also be moved on its caster wheels 35, 36 in the manner of a pushcart by one or more operators holding the handlebars 39, 40.
The aupparatus illustrated may be employed for paying out a cable 33 from a non-illustrated cable drum, not supported on the frame 1, in the manner shown in FIG. 1, and it may also be used for paying out a cable, not itself visible in FIG. 1, from the drum 17. A lead rope 42 attached to the free end of the cable is shown in the drawing. The cables and rope have been omitted from the showing of FIG. 2 for the sake of clarity.
When it is desired to pay out the cable from the drum 17, the pin 19 is engaged in the hub of the drum 17 and in the shaft 18, and the engine 16 is started. The resulting clockwise rotation of the drum 17 causes the rope 42 to be payed out. The rope is laid by hand into the saddles 13 on the lower conveyor run, travels in an are about the shaft 5, is further pressed by the wheels 27, 28 into the notches of the saddles 13 in the upper conveyor run and is ultimately pulled over a guide roller 41 ahead of the shaft 2 and away from the conveyor. Forward traction manually applied to the end of the rope 52 causes the attached cable to follow in the same path.
If a cable is to be payed out over a relatively long distance, several devices of the type sown in FIG, 1 are spaced apart, and the cable 33 payed out from the drum of the rearmost apparatus is sequentially trained over the saddles on the upper runs of the several conveyors as shown in FIG. 1.
Manual labor in operating the apparatus of the invention is limited to the handling of the relatively light rope 42. The cable is gripped by the conveyor saddles with a horizontal force transverse to the direction of conveyor movement in response to the vertical forces which drive the cable inward of the saddle notches and are provided by the weight of the cable and the wheels 27, '28. The conveyor provides the necessary moving force for paying out the cable and is even capable of pushing a relatively stifI cable over an appreciable distance beyond the guide roller 41. When the cable is firmly engaged with the saddles 13, the coupling pin 19 may be withdrawn.
It should be understood, of course, that the foregoing disclosure relates to only a preferred embodiment of the invention, and that it is intended to cover all changes and modifications of the example of the invention herein chosen for the purpose of the disclosure which do not constitute departure from the spirit and scope of the invention as set forth in the appended claims.
What I claim is:
1. A cable-advancing conveyor consisting of a pair of coextensive, aligned endless sprocket chains respectively situated in spaced, parallel vertical planes with each of said chains having substantially horizontal upper and lower runs, a plurality of pairs of sprocket wheels situated with one wheel of each pair in one of said planes and the other wheel of each pair in the other of said planes, said sprocket wheels being operatively connected with said chains for supporting and advancing the latter, a plurality of transverse bars situated in the space be tween said planes, extending perpendicularly with respect thereto, with each of said bars fixed to the pair of chains, said bars being parallel to each other and spaced relatively widely from each other along said chains, the distances between said bars along the lengths of said chains being substantially greater than the dimensions of said bars along the lengths of said chains, and a plurality of V-shaped cable-gripping members respectively having apexes fixed to said bars substantially midway between the ends thereof, said gripping members also being relatively widely spaced from each other and defining between themselves along the lengths of said chains spaces substantially greater than the dimensions of said gripping members along said chains, and said gripping members extending upwardly from those bars which at any given instant are situated along the upper runs of said chains, so that said gripping members have along the upper horizontal runs of said chains outwardly directed open ends for receiving a cable, whereby a cable situated in the gripping members which at any instant are situated along the upper runs of said chains will be advanced by the conveyor, said upper runs having inlet ends for receiving a cable and discharge ends from which the cable is discharged, so that a cable conveyed by the conveyor will be advanced from the inlet to the discharge ends of the chains.
2. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said pairs of sprocket wheels include two pairs of end sprocket wheels respectively situated at the inlet and discharge ends of said chains and an intermediate pair of sprocket wheels situated between said end pairs of sprocket wheels and engaging only the upper runs of said chains, said intermediate pair of sprocket wheels elevating the chains at the portions thereof engaged by said intermediate pair of sprocket wheels to an elevation somewhat higher than the elevation of the chains at the inlet and discharge ends thereof, so that the chains are at least slightly inclined upwardly from the inlet toward the discharge ends of the upper runs thereof and downwardly inclined as they approach the discharge ends thereof.
3. The combination of claim 2 and wherein an additional intermediate pair of sprocket Wheels are situated between the end pairs spaced from the first-mentioned intermediate pair to provide with the latter intermediate substantially horizontally extending sections of said upper runs of said chains situated at said higher elevation, said additional pair of sprocket wheels also engaging only the upper runs of said chains.
4. The combination of claim 1 and wherein said V-shaped gripping members each include a pair of legs which define an acute angle between themselves.
5. The combination of claim 1 and wherein a means is situated only in the region of the inlet ends of said chains at said upper runs thereof for pressing a cable downwardly into the gripping members at said region.
6. The combination of claim 1 and wherein a vehicle frame forms a support means which supports said pairs of sprocket wheels for rotary movement, so that theentire conveyor may be transported from one location to another by way of said vehicle frame.
7. The combination of claim 1 and wherein a cable supply drum is situated in the region of said discharge ends of said chains at an elevation lower than said chains for directing a cable first along the lower runs of said chains and then around the inlet ends thereof to the upper runs.
8. The combination of claim 7 and wherein a drive means is operatively connected with at least one of said pairs of sprocket wheels for rotating the latter to drive said chains, said drive means also being operatively connected with said drum for driving the latter.
9. A cable handling apparatus comprising, in combination: a vehicle; an endless conveyor on said vehicle having a substantially horizontal run; and a plurality of gripping means alignedly spaced on said conveyor in the direction of conveyor movement for gripping an engaged cable horizontally and transversely of said direction in said run, said vehicle having a frame, and said conveyor including chain means mounted on said frame for movement in a closed path, and said gripping means each including a saddle defining a notch, said notch flaring in an upward direction in said run, the notches of said saddles being aligned in the direction of conveyor movement for simultaneously receiving a cable therein, and pressure means for urging a received cable inward of said notches,
on said frame for pivoting movement about a substantially horizontal axis transverse of the direction of conveyor movement, two wheel means mounted on said rocker member for simultaneous movement of said two wheel means in opposite directions when said rocker member pivots about said axis thereof, and yieldably resilient means biasing said axis of the rocker member toward said conveyor for simultaneous engagement of said two wheel means with a cable received in said notches.
References Cited by the Examiner UNITED STATES PATENTS 737,871 9/1903 Roe 254190 2,647,699 8/1953 Bush 254175.7 X 2,659,540 11/1953 Sketchley 254 X 2,679,924 6/ 1954 Powell 226172 3,104,791 9/1963 Anrig 226-172 3,106,325 10/1963 Kitching 226-171 SAMUEL F. COLEMAN, Primary Examiner.